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RUBBER SLIPPER

A love story, a hybrid cover of the fairytales of Snow White and Cinderella.

The personal items of the protagonists, made of fluorescence silicon, levitate in a dreamy darkness, conversing
and gaining strength from each other. With the use of simple automations, these works perform
repetitive, rhythmical movements, and produce characteristic sibilant sines and noises that compose an
absolute arrangement to the sound of breathing (inhale-exhale).
The rhythmical, mutual rotation of the protagonists’ distinctive roles comprises the structural element of
the fairytale.

 

An image reflected in the circular mirror of a female bag seems to multiply and linger to infinity.
The rubber slipper ceases to be unique.
A chair hosts two cylinders that rotate endlessly sweeping along a bottle-carrier of news. Inside the cylinders
there is a system of sea pebbles. Inside the bottle a strange couple is conversing, a ball and a silicon
effigy of female genitals.
The ball hits from time to time the glass-wall performing a perpetual movement that composes a vague
crystal sound.

 

phosphorescent silicon, iron, copper, PVC, mirror, moteur, black light

 

/Rubber slipper/ Zina Athanassiadi Art Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2000 (solo show)
/Rubber slipper/ Medoussa Art Gallery, Athens, 1999 (solo show)

 

The Rubber Slipper
Once upon a time there was a little girl whose name was Looke. Cupid had taken Looke to live with him. So
Cupid’s Looke lived in love with everything , immersed in unclouded bliss, until the day she asked Cupid,
for the permission to play with his arrows and he refused, because he was afraid she might get wounded.
Since then, yearning for this orbidden game nestled inside Looke.
One day, she secretly read the invitation sent by the prince of a far away country. For all his life, the prince
had savoured the graces of any woman he set his eyes on and his heart had never been struck by Cupid’s
arrows, this is why he invited him to bring his tools to the great ball that he would organise in order to
choose the woman who would become his princess.
Looke left immediately for this far away country and hid in the kitchen of a large house, working and
preparing for the ball. The yearning within her flamed up and burned like fire and, filled with new life and
eagerness, she did the toughest jobs. In the evenings she prepared her dress for the ball using anything
she could find, because in this country there was no silk or gems. She made an impressive evening gown
from kitchen paper and sesame seeds, jewels from cutlery and nutmeg, as well as two elegant pink slippers
from rubber washing gloves.
On the day of the ball, as soon as the prince looked at Looke he asked her to dance, even Cupid was
dazzled by the matching couple; he prepare his twelve arrows but at the last monet he recognised his little
Looke and shot all his arrows to the prince who started burning as struck by love. Looke’s body was not
struck by any arrow and as she watched the prince’s flaming eyes, his underlip trembling from passion
and his body palpitating from inexplicable urge, she was so frightened that she flew away.
As she was rushing down the palace stairs, her slipper stuck in a chewed gum thrown by some unscrupulous
woman, but in her freight she did not make any attempt to pick it up. The only thing she cared about
was to run away from the prince and his funny behaviour, and she ran and ran until she was lost in the
darkness of the woods and the only thing she could hear was her breath and an owl’s song.
The prince did not have the time to see that she had headed to the woods, so he took her rubber slipper
in his hands. ‘’I’ll travel all around the earth if I have to’’ he said, ‘’until I find the beloved foot which fits
in this slipper” and started searching. However, the rubber slipper could fit to every woman and soon he
understood that his beloved was not to be found in this way.
As he could see no other solution, he asked Cupid to deliver him from his twelve arrows. Cupid looked at
him sadly. ‘’It’s not that easy’’ he said. ‘’I have a marvellous bow for shooting my arrows but I do not have
any means for making them harmless. This is the jof of Oblivion. However, finding the lady is not a simple
task at all. You should travel around the earth and do twelve major deeds. While you’ll be doing the twelfth,
Oblivion shall appear to you sitting on a rock made of petrified tears. She will be holding a glass of wine
and if you drink it, the arrows shall stop hurting’’.

So, the prince left the palace with Cupid’s Looke rooted deep inside his heart. Looke hid in the woods
without any yearning or goal, without Cupid beside her making her enjoy everything around her, so she
ran colder an colder. The bords, the animals, the flowers, and the trees of the woods pitied her and tried
to warm her up, but her frozen heart made her whole body colder, it became white and shone at night
like snow. The horses ran to the seven corners of the world and brought her the best cavaliers, but she,
without Cupid around, thought they were nothing but dwarves. Frozen like this, she fell in deep hibernation,
although it was spring.
Looke’s frozen breath made the leaves on the trees shudder and forced the birds to stop singing. Only the
sweer whistling of her breath could be heard in the entire woods and Cupid, who happened to pass by,
found her shining fast asleep. He was so sorry for all the trouble she caused her because of his refusal
and decided to make it up to her. However, the prince was now a well-known man, a hero and the last
thing he would think of was Looke and the arrows in his body.
So Cupid beckoned the twelve fairies and begged them to help him. Every night they went to the prince
and weaved dreams that set on by one the forgotten arrows ablaze. After a few nights, the prince was all
burning, again.
Not knowing what was happening, he asked the fourteen eyes that can see everywhere whether they
knew of something that he would cool him down and the fourteen eyes answered to him in unison: ‘’Look
for the frozen girl sleeping in the woods with one bare foot.’’ Then the fell silent.
It took him a long time to find her and the fire that was burning and scorching him was too hot to bear,
so when he found her, he fell on her so as to cool down. Looke brought back to life thanks to his burning
arrows, woke up feeling as Cupid was beside her and spreading love on everything around her.
Someone who recently walked through those woods told me that he saw them still holding in each other’s
arms.


Story by Giorgos Gyparakis